Illusions of Grandeur hail from the city of Lancaster, PA, which historically is known for modest Amish culture, sprawling farms and quiet back roads. Their debut album, Songs of the Siren, released on Toil Records and is a lot of wonderful things, none of them modest. This concept album with layers of melodies and harmonies is powerful in its masculine femininity as it melds like sandy waves that beat a raging volcano into submission.

Long ago, there was a siren named Alysia who failed to watch Persephone like she was supposed to. Hades snatched up the unguarded Persephone and made her his wife. Now Alysia, stripped of her wings, has to journey to find Persephone so the both of them can return home. This Greek tale of tragedy intermingles with a fictionalized version of the band, and it has a lot of potential to be exhaustive and overdone. Illusions of Grandeur, however, pull it off with the tight leads and rhythmic riffs along with sultry, transfixing vocals that nail it in such a gruesome beauty that it is difficult to stop listening.

Review by Darlene McGarrity
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